Your band Detonator was fuonded in 1986 and it was disbanded in 1992. I know, that it isn’t simply, but can you collect for us all the important facts from the six years long life of your band? Please, tell us everything about the member-changings, demo-recordings and all other important points.
The band was founded in the spring of 1986 with three memebers (drums, guitars, vocals), but at the autumn we found two other boys from Miskolc (big industrial city in North of our fatherland) on bass and second guitar. Our first gig was on 10th January 1987. in Budapest in the famous club „Kassák”, we were the guest of the legendary Tormentor. In the spring of the same year we’ve played in a big Metal-festival in Miskolc (in the club „Molnár Béla Művelődési Ház”) with a lot of other Metal bands. This club was suitable a for 400 persons, but there were 600-700 fans, so the gig was really a highlight for us! We had after that in all months a show. At 1988-89 the militray service made the band a little bit inactive, and in the summer of 1989 the both boys from Miskolc left us, but soon we found new bassist and guitarist, and we began to write new songs. At the autumn of 1989 was out our first demo with 9 songs, but we didn’t spread it, because the songs and the sound quality were too weak. From this repertoire we left 5 songs, we have re-written the other four and we made two new ones, so we get the material of our real demo from the year 1990. In 1990 we got a big success wih the radio-programme „Garázs” („Garage” was the only one radio-programme of all the radio-stations in the communist and post-communist times in Hungary, which supported rock/metal), but unfortunately we’ve disbanded at aprox. 1991-1992.
When did you get know Metal music and with help of wich bands? And which bands made for you the biggest inspiration, to make this kind of music? Which bands were your favorites / idols, and for which bands would you like to be similar?
I began to listen to metal music at aprox. 1983-84, in the first times I liked Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Accept and Co. very much. After that I got to know the raw/harsh musical genres, and I listened to Slayer, Celtic Frost, Exodus, Kreator, Destruction, Possessed, Death, Bathory, they all were the high-lights of the extreme Metal scene at that time. In the band Detonator me and the drummer were big Metal-collectors, we both had an excellent collection of vinyls, but of course only from these brutal genres. Our mightiest common favorite was Slayer. At the beginning we wanted to play only fast and raw music! This style was founded in Hungary at these times also by us, but I guess, not only in Hungary, but also in the Wesern-European scene. That was the real heroic age for raw Metal music. I have a lot of super rememberances from that times.
Before some weeks I’ve got a short message from you, where you called the band on the name „Detonátor”, but mostly we can meet the name „Detonator”. Which one is the correct name?
It is without apostroph, „Detonator”.
It is absolutely unbeliveable for me in 2004, that a band, which was formed in 1986, played old school Black Metal in Hungary, because the communist regime and its culture-policy closed out our fatherland from the international Metal-scene. Did you know, what kind of music you played?
Like I said, it was totally conscious, that we’ve played this genre. We liked that, and that was coming from our instruments. We never wanted to write slower themes. The slow parts in the songs, you can find, we needed to make the songs different from each other. At 1989 it was a clean way before us, therefore we left that 5 songs, which I mentioned above, and therefore we have re-written the other four ones. Of course we knew, that this kind of fast music was played in our fatherland beside us only by a few bands, it was a good feeling, that we are absolutely unique. I think, we were with that other bands the first, and we are the roots of the Black Thrash Metal in Hungarian Metal-life.
Although I definated your music in my letter to you and also in this interview as „Black Metal”, I would be interested in your opinion: what kind of music did you played? Old Thrash Metal, old Black Metal or old Death Metal?
Black Thrash Metal! These three words are the best ones for our music!
Why was the metal-life of a so poor and little city Mezőkövesd so strong. I also asked Szabó Gyula (Angel Reaper) about this topic… He mentioned the near friendship and unity between bands and fans. Your opinion?
That’s right, what Gyula said. It was very similar to the 80s of the Thrash Metal bands from Bay-Area (Exodus, Testament, Violence stb), or to the Death Metal invasion from Florida in the early 90s, as many bands were started at the same time from the same territory of a country. In our city was the same situation, the boys were coming to our gigs, or they have visited us in our rehearsal-room, and they taked a fancy to founding of an own band, but there were also such people, who were „only” fans, but we were in good contact. We got a good metal-society here, that was the reason of the good scene.
How intensive is this old friendship / unity between the persons? I know, that you had to left your city for a longer time, but now you are back. Did you take the contact to the old friends? Have you got help from them in the re-adaptation?
The friendship is no more so intensive, like before, but we live also now that so called „society-life”, like in the ’80s. Some pepole are living now in other places of the country or the whole wide world, but the hardest core is in Mezőkövesd.
The difference between the capital and province inside of Hungary has a big role in the musical life of our fatherland. The bands from the province don’t have chances to play good gigs in Budapest and so they can’t be known (the situation was very similar also int he past), but your band had the possibilty for being famous in the whole Hungarian metal-life. The radio-programme „Garage” of the official Hungarian Radio played a big role in your sucesses. But also Nagy Feró, the leader of the programme was personally, who played your songs in the radio, and as far as I remember, he made also an interview with Detonator. How began this contact? How has Nagy Feró helped you?
After recording of the „Demo 1990” we’ve sent some samples to important places to make the band popular / famous. Also Nagy Feró have got the material, and he liked it very much. He wanted to get in touch with us. Our good career seemd to begin. He promised us the possibility of real studio-recording, but we needed to write 4-5 songs more, but as far as he said, it was not urgent. He organized some concerts for us, we made an interview together in the radio, he helped us. He was very kind to us, we send to him our best thanks!
If I’m right, Nagy Feró promised for you, that he will bring out your album on MC/LP by his own label „Nagyferó Produkció”. Why was it never out?
We were disbanded before the studio-works.
You have also a very important interview in 1991 in the biggest Hungarian fortress of metal press, Metal Hammer Magazine (the interview was made by Szarka József). Tell us something about this interview! How have you got this possibility?
Like I mentioned, we’ve sent some samples of the demo as promotion for important places, also Metal Hammer Magazine got a sample. Our demo was reviewed by them, and after that we get from them this possibility to make a longer interview. To be honest, we knew both of leaders of the Metal Hammer Magazine since 1986-87, we made with them good contacts, because we have made party with them before our concert in Miskolc-Tapolca. The feeling was very-very cool, and later they’ve written reviews about our other gigs, too. They were always positive with our band. Therefore we get this possibility. Thanks for it!
Didin’t you want ever to live in Budapest? It have would been easier to cocnentrate for the band, or?
One of the guitarists made his studies in Budapest, so if we needed to organize something, he seattled it. And we three felt very good in our little city Mezőkövesd.
In Hungary there were some legendary metal/rock-music-compilations („Garázs 1, 2, 3”; „Robbanásveszély 1, 2”; „Black & Speed Metál Válogatás” etc.), but you weren’t on them, although you was very known from the radio, press of the Hungarian metal life. Was it a bad feeling for you? I guess, no one remembers now the other bands, which were on these compilations, but you would have deserved the chances…
We didn’t get bad feelings, because we made something wrong, and therefore we weren’t on these compilations. We never seached for these labels, to make Detonator populair with compilations. In the first time we didn’t have any demo-recording in good quality, and after that we were unfortunately disbanded.
I guess, your music was mature alos in the beginning of the ’90s. I think, your songs would have deserved minimal a self-released tape-album with a good sounded studio recording. Didn’t you think about this possibility? At these years there was lots of the self-financied tape-albums in Hungary…
I think it, too. But at that time we had big financial problems, and also we would have needed 10 new songs, to make a correct tape-album.
In 2004 your „Demo 1990” was out on CD-R by my own label. What kind of feeling you’ve got, as you’ve heard, that somebody is interested in releasing of these song after thses long years?
It was a very good feeling, thank you!
How do you like the lay-out of the CDR?
In the old times you’ve distributed your onyl official demo on self-duplicated tapes. How many customers did you have? I guess, thank for the radio-programme not only a few… How many fans did you have?
I don’t kow it exactly, but aprox. 200-300.
As we have spoken about the releasing of the demo on CD-R, I’ve got the information, that the original old demo-tape didn’t have any jacket. Why didn’t you make a home-made jacket for the demo?
Few days after the coming out of the tape we’ve spread it in the whole country, and shortly after that we knew learn Nagy Feró, we began to speak about the album, and after that we thought, we will better concentrate for the cover-desing, if we will make the debut-album. We would have needed a guy, like you, who have ambitions… Be sure, if we had known you, you would have made it!
What kind of feedbacks did you get from the fans, from the other bands, magazines? I ask it, because Attila Csihar of Tormentor said in an interview, they’ve got always only bad feedbacks in the past…
We got only positive reactions. But we always wrote in the letters (enclosed to the cassettes), that the sound-quality is bad, and the next demo-recording will be better… Haha! Because we have belived in! But look in the whole metal-scene! It was not too rare thing (rather before the ’90s), that also bigger bands made albums with worse sound (for example: Bathory, Slayer: „Hell awaits”, Voivod: „Röarrr”, Kreator: „Pleasure to kill”, Assassin: „Interstellar ex”). But check out Metallica’s „St. Anger” from 2003. I think, you agree with me!?
You’ve told me, that the most important demo of Detonator was recorded in the old Czechoslovakia, in the home-studio of a friendly band of yours. If I’m right, that was the band „Exit” from the city Rózsnyó. That band is unknown for me, would you introduce them for us? Can you tell me something about the conditions etc. of the recordings? Did you have live gigs in Czechoslovakia, like Angel Reaper?
We recorded the demo in Slovakia. We had very good contacts with the guitarist of „Exit”, he have organized the recording, he was our sound-manager, sound-energeer etc. He was a very good friend of us! As trade we’ve organized for them some live shows in Hungary. But unfortunately we didn’t have any gigs in their land, although I was on the concert of Angel Reaper, and I’ve singed Kreator’s song „Tormentor” in the bonus-section. It was a fantastic show!
On your „Demo 1990” I’ve noticed a textual conception about two topics: war and death (if I hear the lyrics correct, because your vocalic style was very extreme). But on your former rehearseal recordings (exspecially on the one from 1986) I found mostly occultist and satanist texts. What was your biggest textual inspiration?
In the first time I’ve translated the topics of my favorite bands with help of dictionary, exspecialy the ones of Slayer. These translations were the biggest inspirators for me, as I wrote the texts for Detonator. These were the occult topics. You can check out the first two songs from this old period in our „Demo 1990”. After that time I’ve just began to write about more realistic things, but of course about such raw and dark topics, which were needed by the atmosphere of our music.
As Detonator was active, there was a lot of talented Hungarian black / thrash / black metal bands: Tormentor, Antichrist, Moby Dick, Paranoid, Angel Reaper, Fantom, Butchers, Mayhem, Undertaking, Trepán, Atomic, Slogan, Exit (Hungary) etc. (to mention only the most talented ones). Which bands did you know personally, and with which bands did you have good cocntacts, with which bands did you have common gigs?
From that listed ones we have common concerts only with Tormentor and and personally we known them also very good. Our drummer kept the touch with them, they’ve traded albums, etc. I was once in the flat of Szigi of Tormentor to talking about several things. I remember of them very good, but the other bands, you’ve mentioned I didn’t know or I’ve never heard about them. There was two other bands, you haven’t mentioned, but they played very good music and we played with them on live gigs: Beyond (from Gyöngyös) and Barbed Wire (from Budapest).
In a radio-station I’ve heard an interview with Attila Csihar before some weeks, and he told us, that there was in Budapest in 1986 a music-award for amateur rock/metal bands in the legendary culture-house „Almási Téri Szabadidő Központ”, where the legendary Tormentor won a possibility for a live show as price of the audience. Attila Csihar, the vocalist of Tormentor said, that you were also on that music award, and only thank for your votes they won this possibility. Is this good story just a legend, or is it true?
It’s absolutely true. We were coming to this rock-award as visitors, but as we’ve heard, what a kind of brutal music did Tormentor play, we’ve began to bang our heads very hard. And we wrote their name on our tickets, so they won the price of the audience. After their gig we’ve spoken with them first time, and so there was a friendly contact between the two bands.
As Angel Reaper was split up in 1992/93, the members didn’t break with playing music, and they’ve founded a new band under the name „Herma Florida”. Was there after split up of Detonator such a band? If it was, tell us everithing about it! Did the other band-members of Detonator also played music somewhere else? (for example your drumer, Dudás István played on Angel Reaper’s „Exhumált világ” demo-material.)
Two years after our disbanding I’ve recorded a five-songs-demo-material with Bíró Gábor (ex-Angel Reaper) under the name „Return”. This recording and these songs were so perfectly, that we have searched also for a bassist and a drummer and with this bandname we have founded a real band. We played a year long and after that we stopped our activities. If I’m right, after disbanding of Detonator Dudás István have drummed in two bands, but after that he have stopped playing music and listening to metal. The two guitarst-brothers are living with their families now, they are belivers of a christian sect and they play christian music. I meet them very rare, we talk a little bit, but not about music. There isn’t any kind of hate between us.
Maybe it isn’t a stupid question: Do you listen to metal, yet? Which genre do you like now? Who are your teporally favorites?
I’m a big music fan also now. I try to collect all the actual albums, but to be honest, in the last time there aren’t too many good music, which can make me mad! But sometimes I find good productions: Korn: „Issues” (their newest one I’ll get copied from a friend very soon, I’m very courious), Machine Head: „Through the ashes of empires”, Marilyn Manson: „Goldenage of grotesque”, Evanescence: „Fallen”. And of course the newest one of the mighty Slayer! If the new masterpice will be so perfect, like „God hates us all”, than everithing is all right!
Thank you for the interview, I wish you all the best!
Thanks for the possibility of this interview!
A Tenkes Kapitánya (2004)